In a global live streaming event, Eliwell and Schneider Electric took stock of the evolution of technology for more sustainable refrigeration in the food retail industry.
The globally live-streamed “Innovation Day: Eliwell Digital Experience” event, organised by Eliwell together with Schneider Electric and its partners, was held a few days ago. The event was attended by speakers from Belluno headquarters and others selected from every corner of the globe, from the Schneider Electric experts in Australia and the Far East group in Singapore to Switzerland’s Biaggini Frigoriferi and Spain’s Eliwell Iberica. The special guest was Francesco Mastrapasqua, President of Assocold, the association representing manufacturers of systems and appliances for the world of industrial and commercial refrigeration.
The fully online event included contributions from all over the world: over 400 participants linked up from more than 36 countries, to interact with Eliwell experts by actively participating in the various phases, interspersed with surveys on key issues for the industry, in which they expressed their opinions to facilitate the discussions that followed.
The agenda began with Sandro Battagli, General Manager of Eliwell by Schneider Electric, who greeted the international audience and the press in attendance from various countries. Battagli first introduced the topics of Sustainability and Efficiency, explaining how these are the true driving forces in the current Eliwell strategy. He highlighted the company’s resilience last year, demonstrated by its launch of new innovative products and digital products. These guaranteed uninterrupted continuity during the pandemic, evidenced by their even closer proximity to their clients, having developed new digital tools to continue to provide support and training remotely.
During the event, the key factors transforming the refrigeration business were highlighted and Eliwell’s cutting-edge approach was shown to revolve around the driving forces of technological developments in the industry: Efficiency, Sustainability and Connectivity.
The morning consisted of three sessions in succession, focusing on EcoStruxure for Retail (the ecosystem of devices and data analysis to provide visibility and control throughout the Retail chain), DOMINO (a solution designed to increase and improve the efficiency and maintenance of sustainable refrigeration systems), and Connected Refrigerators (to investigate how energy efficiency can be improved using IoT connectivity), respectively.
Refrigeration is the most important factor in supermarkets’ energy consumption. The ability to rely on a platform such as EcoStruxure for Retail – which combines all the solutions needed to make a store smarter and more interconnected – guarantees more efficient management and improved safety and comfort. An illustration was then given of how this system can be used for the integrated control and management of Eliwell and Schneider Electric solutions, from energy monitoring, access and lighting management (including emergency lighting), to refrigeration and HVAC systems, for smart and even remote management of the entire store structure, whether a retail store or a supermarket.
For the world of supermarkets, Eliwell offers DOMINO, the efficient solution to control sustainable transcritical CO2 refrigeration systems. DOMINO ZERO is its latest iteration, aiming at the goal of “zero waste” in consumption and maintenance.
Connectivity now pervades every industry, as does demand for sustainability. In the retail and refrigeration sector in particular, there is a pressing need for solutions using natural refrigerants, which offer not only energy efficiency, but also a reduction in total operating cost.
Supermarkets using Eliwell RTX 600 DOMINO ZERO and EWCM 9000 PRO-HF transcritical CO2 controllers represent a real-world confirmation of how refrigeration systems and HVAC can be integrated to reduce equipment costs, the space taken up by the systems, energy consumption and maintenance costs by over 25%.
The final session began with the contribution of Francesco Mastrapasqua, President of Assocold, who noted that the European Commission Ecodesign and Energy Labelling Regulations will come into force on 1 March 2021 for all products in Lot 12: “refrigerating appliances with a direct sales function”.
“The regulatory changes affecting the commercial refrigeration sector form part of a broader European Union plan. Through the Green Deal, the EU intends to transform Europe into the first continent with net zero climate impact by 2050”, said Francesco Mastrapasqua. “The Ecodesign and Energy Labelling regulations work together to achieve the same goal. Ecodesign sets minimum efficiency requirements for products due to be marketed and will contribute to eliminating less sustainable products. Energy Labelling provides for the introduction of a label showing annual consumption, the energy classification of each product and further information for retailers to make an informed decision. Both regulations will therefore assist in the promotion of innovation and competitiveness among manufacturers, to reduce consumption and the environmental impact of refrigerating appliances and boost the performance of the solutions. The Recovery Fund also represents a great opportunity for innovation in the refrigeration industry.”
In this session, Battagli highlighted the importance of innovating with solutions that can assist in the continued improvement of energy efficiency and how Eliwell solutions can provide tangible assistance to refrigerator manufacturers. Then came the turn of EWNext, the platform for refrigerated cabinet manufacturers with patented modular defrost technology, and of the TelevisAir cloud service with refrigeration fleet management features that use geolocation and on-site management via the Eliwell AIR app.
Eliwell continued to provide customer support throughout the pandemic. The Eliwell Digital Academy was created to focus on customers and their needs, with an ultimate aim of providing immediate answers.
The Digital Academy is an online library with a wide range of content on refrigeration control solutions: trade information, technical insights, step-by-step guides, video tutorials and hints and tips for application can be accessed in just one click, to boost the skills of distributors, partners, installers and end users in the choice and use of Eliwell solutions.It is a virtual space where technicians from the refrigeration supply chain can meet their counterparts at Eliwell.
The event also included a preview of the virtual tour of “Innovation Hub: EcoStruxure for Retail”, the new digital project to provide users from all over the world with virtual access to the 450-m2 Eliwell demonstration centre at its Belluno headquarters, a mock-up of a genuine supermarket. While the pandemic has made it difficult to travel and visit the site, the company has sought workarounds to enable customers to witness the application of Eliwell and Schneider Electric-branded automation and asset control solutions.
The virtual tour visits all the environments in the Innovation Hub, from the control room (with solutions for energy managers, maintenance companies and system integrators) to the cold room, via the various refrigerated counters and cabinets characteristic of supermarkets, all the way to the compressor rack.
Each touchpoint includes videos and insights, where Eliwell and Schneider Electric experts illustrate the technical specifications and features of all the applied solutions. Links are also provided to the technical documentation.
The digital event concluded with a thank-you to the speakers, clients and partners that have supported the company over time, and to the employees who have enabled the company to pursue its world-renowned innovative approach for over four decades.